Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and the Rethink Plastic Alliance: joint statement on effectively regulating chemical recycling

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and the Rethink Plastic Alliance (RPa) published a policy briefing on 7 steps to effectively legislate on chemical recycling.

The policy briefing comes at a time where chemical recycling is increasingly being promoted as a solution to the current plastic crisis. The industry claims that chemical recycling technologies will overcome the limitations of mechanical recycling, enabling an entirely circular economy for plastic. Yet the Industry offers very little evidence to support these claims.

The policy briefing recommends the following:

  1. Review EU waste legislation to introduce harmonised definitions of chemical recycling technologies
  2. Clarify the legal status of chemical recycling technologies in the waste hierarchy
  3. Limit chemical recycling feedstock to contaminated and degraded durable plastics
  4. Evaluate environmental and health impacts of chemical recycling at the industrial level
  5. Establish a robust methodology for calculating the climate impact of chemical recycling
  6. Develop a standard to establish the actual recycled content qualitatively and quantitatively
  7. Limit EU funding to chemical recycling processes that have a lower carbon footprint than the production of plastic from virgin feedstock


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